Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, has disclosed that all States of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will receive support to the tune of NGN100 Million each through the Regional Diseases Surveillance Enhancement (REDISSE) Project to boost their response activities in the fight against the global pandemic.
Speaking at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Press Briefing, on Thursday, in Abuja, Ehanire said: “I am pleased to mention that all States of the Federation, including the FCT are receiving support from the COVID-19 response through the Regional Diseases Surveillance Enhancement (REDISSE) Project. With this support, all States of the Federation will receive NGN100 Million to enhance high impact priority response activities. The soon to be reactivated BHCPF will join the funding pool.”
The minister, while expressing concern over the spike in community transmission, said “We can rightly assume from the exponentially increasing numbers, that the pool of potentially infectious persons in the community, is rising and with that, the risk of infection for citizens at all levels of society, since a very significant number of persons testing positive is not in observation or treatment.”
He commended persons of influence in the society, who tested positive for the virus, and came out publicly to declare it and entrusted themselves to prescribed treatment.
“They do us a world of good by showing that there is no shame and nothing to hide about COVID-19, and they also contribute immensely to building confidence in the Health System,” he said.
While commending health care providers for their efforts in the fight against COVID-19, the Minister emphasized on the need to focus on prevention, saying, it is “better and cheaper than cure.”
Commenting on some of the symptoms that present or confuse COVID-19 for malaria, the Minister stated that although COVID-19 could present with symptoms like fever, similar to malaria, it is not malaria.
He said: “Symptoms like cough, sore throat, fever, loss of sense of taste or smell, especially when several symptoms occur together, are suggestive of COVID-19. A test is required.”
The Minister also informed that the Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) now has a total of 59 molecular diagnostic laboratories for COVID-19 test activated and with a little improvement in logistics, adding that lack of availability of testing capacity should no longer be an excuse.